The current Bob Jones City-to-the-Sea multi-use trail is just the first step in joining San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach along San Luis Obispo Creek.
It follows the old Pacific Coast Railroad right-of-way. It was initially planned and is being used for a hiking, jogging and biking route.
The Bob Jones trail is intended for walkers, bikers, skaters, strollers, people using walkers and wheelchairs, etc. The real issue, expressed in recent letters to the editor, seems to be about trail etiquette — getting people to courteously share the trail with others, sometimes not an easy task in the current days of “me first, me only.”
Users have not been “misled,” as one writer suggested. The Bob Jones trail has existing multi-use trail guideline signs posted that clearly speak to the various trail uses, and some even tell visitors to share the right-of-way.
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The Bob Jones trail has thousands of users each week, and most use and enjoy it without incident. Unfortunately, there will always be a few users who are not considerate of others.
All of us can help make the multi-use trails more enjoyable and safe for everyone by using these simple guidelines.
• Be courteous and respectful of other users, regardless of their mode, speed or skill level.
• Be predictable by traveling in a consistent manner.
• Don’t block the trail. When in a group or with pets, use no more than half the trail.
• Stay as near to the right side of the trail as is safe, except when passing another user.
• Pass on the left.
• Yield to slower and on-coming traffic, and remember kids and pets can be unpredictable.
• When stopping, move off the trail and be aware of other users approaching you from behind.
• Give a clear signal by using voice, bell or horn before passing, and give the people you are passing time to respond.
• Obey all traffic signs and signals.
• Use lights at night.
• Be respectful of private property — having a trail is a privilege, not a right.
• Clean up litter.
County Parks could put up more signs, but if people are not courteous to their fellow trail users, signs won’t make any difference. Common courtesy is the solution for the issues expressed.
Our county’s trails have engineering and design limits. If some people’s preferred speed or style endangers other users, they should check for alternative routes or other types of trails that better suit their needs.
We are very fortunate to have active volunteers, organizations and multiple agencies working toward an extensive trail system throughout the county. The Bob Jones City-to-the-Sea multi-use trail is there for all of us to enjoy. When it is completed, it will be a world-class trail for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. We just need to remember to use courtesy and common sense.
Pandora Nash-Karner is chair of the San Luis Obispo County Parks Commission.